June 2, 2023

UFC Vegas 73 Preview: Natalia Silva vs. Victoria Leonardo – Flyweight Showdown & Keys to Victory

3 min read

This week’s UFC Vegas 73 event, scheduled for May 20, 2023, at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, promises an exhilarating preliminary card bout in the women’s flyweight division. Natalia Silva and Victoria Leonardo are set to square off in a highly anticipated clash, with WMMA Rankings covering the event and providing exclusive insights into the world of women’s mixed martial arts.

Natalia Silva, a rising star in the flyweight division, boasts an impressive professional record of 14-5-1. At just 26 years old, Silva has already made her mark in the UFC with an undefeated record of 2-0. Her debut in June 2022 showcased her dominance as she secured a unanimous decision victory against Jasmine Jasudavicius. Silva followed up with a spectacular highlight-reel finish in November 2022, where she delivered a stunning spinning back kick KO to DWCS winner Tereza Bleda in the third round. Now, Silva looks to continue her winning streak and solidify her position among the top contenders in the division.

Victoria Leonardo, with a professional record of 9-4-0, brings her wealth of experience to the Octagon. The 33-year-old fighter has faced tough competition in her UFC career, with a record of 1-2. Leonardo suffered back-to-back TKO losses to Manon Fiorot and Melissa Gatto in her initial UFC outings in 2021. However, she rebounded impressively in July 2022, securing a dominant decision victory against Mandy Bohm, showcasing her resilience and determination to succeed at the highest level.

Keys to Victory – Natalia Silva:

  1. Maintain distance and striking range: Silva’s key to victory lies in her ability to utilize her superior striking skills and keep the fight standing. She should focus on maintaining distance and using her footwork to control the range, preventing Leonardo from closing the distance for takedowns.
  2. Employ diverse striking techniques: Silva’s arsenal of striking techniques, including powerful kicks and precise punches, should be showcased to keep Leonardo guessing and unable to find a consistent defensive rhythm.
  3. Defend against takedowns: Silva must be diligent in her takedown defense to avoid being taken to the ground, where Leonardo is most dangerous. She should focus on sprawling, clinch work, and utilizing underhooks to stuff takedown attempts.
  4. Control the center of the cage: Silva should aim to control the Octagon, dictating the pace of the fight and forcing Leonardo to react to her attacks. By asserting dominance in the center, Silva can limit Leonardo’s opportunities to initiate takedowns or set up her own strikes.

Keys to Victory – Victoria Leonardo:

  1. Close the distance and initiate grappling exchanges: Leonardo’s path to victory lies in her ability to close the distance and initiate grappling exchanges. She should use her footwork and pressure to get inside Silva’s striking range, seeking to clinch and take the fight to the ground.
  2. Utilize her grappling skills: Leonardo’s grappling prowess should be showcased on the ground, where she can establish control and potentially seek submissions. She should look to use her ground-and-pound to inflict damage and wear down Silva.
  3. Mix striking and grappling: Leonardo should not solely rely on her grappling skills. She should mix in striking combinations to keep Silva guessing and set up takedown opportunities. This will make her offensive approach unpredictable and increase her chances of success.
  4. Exploit Silva’s defensive vulnerabilities: Leonardo should carefully analyze Silva’s previous fights to identify any defensive weaknesses that she can exploit. By capitalizing on these vulnerabilities, Leonardo can gain an advantage and secure a victory.

With WMMA Rankings closely following the action, fans can expect an enthralling flyweight showdown between Natalia Silva and Victoria Leonardo. Both fighters are determined to make a lasting impression and climb the rankings in this high-stakes matchup at UFC Vegas 73. Get ready for a thrilling showcase of women’s mixed martial arts talent on the preliminary card, airing live on ESPN+ from 4pm ET.

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